Among the keen spectators at this Friday’s eagerly anticipated World Cup draw in Russia, will be betting operators looking to identify the more alluring narratives of the tournament.
Utilising tournament narratives to maximise the betting interest will undoubtedly be a tactic that is deployed by operators based in countries that haven’t qualified for tournament, Carmelo Mazza CEO of Italian operator, Betaland.it underlined to SBC that in spite of how big an event the tournament is, there is a need for ‘stronger narratives without Italy in order to keep betting interest high.’ He also revealed to SBC that the potential costs of the national team’s failure has been at the forefront of his thoughts since the goalless draw against Sweden.
He added that: “We have no previous experience of Italy not qualifying for the World Cup, so by examining data and bets on Italy’s matches in the previous tournaments, we estimate a 10% turnover reduction compared with the potential betting turnover on the World Cup.
“In a market like Italy, this could be somehow compensated by the existing growth of the regulated business. However there are two factors which are difficult to estimate: first, many punters who would have bet on Italy, will now of course bet on other teams.
“The Italian team was not in the greatest shape, so moving turnover towards Germany, Argentina, Brazil might at the end increase the payout. Also, the World Cup and all the buzz around Italy’s matches creates an environment where people get together to have fun watching the World Cup.
“This environment pushes betting also to people that wouldn’t normally bet. This will significantly decrease without Italy. It is difficult to estimate how much this is worth, but I can tell you that in summer Italy’s matches in the World Cup are a key opportunity for friends to meet and have fun. We, as bookmakers, will miss it.”